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Million Dollar Movie


From Michael Sragow, here’s Robert Towne on The 39 Steps:

“I think it’s interesting,” he said, “Because most ‘pure’ movie thrillers, especially when you think of Hitchcock, are either fantasies fulfilled or anxieties purged. ‘The 39 Steps’ is one of the few, if not the only one, that does both at the same time. He puts you into this paranoid fantasy of being accused of murder and being shackled to a beautiful girl—of escaping from all kinds of harm, and at the same time trying to save your country, really. A Hitchcock film like ‘Psycho’ is strictly an anxiety purge. ‘The 39 Steps’ gives you that and the fantasy fulfilled. It’s kind of a neat trick, really.”

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